Letter to the editor in the New York Times.
To the Editor:
As you aptly noted in “Aging: Hearing Loss Is Common but Often Ignored” (Vital Signs, March 8), the use of hearing aids in older adults is abysmally low. While nearly two-thirds of adults over 70 have hearing loss, only 40 percent of those with a moderate loss use hearing aids, and incredibly, only 3 percent of those with a mild loss do, according to the recently published study.
Even a mild loss will significantly impair an individual’s ability to communicate and stay connected, and hearing aids help tremendously. How many elderly people given diagnoses of cognitive decline when the problem is that they simply can’t hear? We believe that the first part of any cognitive evaluation for an adult must be a hearing test.